Very early in this football season, I wrote that the Patrick Mahomes Magic seemed to be gone. He was missing easy throws to his receivers, panicking when he should have been patient, and scrambling around too long and getting sacked at crucial times. He managed to overcome those problems enough to get the Chiefs to the AFC Championship game, but tonight, he was back in that rut.
In no way did I mean (then or now) that Mahomes is a liability. After all, he led the Chiefs through the amazing drive in the last 13 seconds of last week’s game. But tonight, KC had the ball inside the Cincinnati five-yard line twice and didn’t get it into the end zone either time. They lost it as much as the Bengals won it, and blame can be laid at the feet of Mahomes. I couldn’t explain to you how the quarterback rating is figured, but I do know that when your QBR is 98.3 in the first half and only 1.4 in the second, you’re not going to the Super Bowl.
From a viewer’s perspective, of course, you can’t beat games that go into overtime or down to the last play and, over the last two weekends, we’ve had five in a row like that.
As for Sunday’s second game, ESPN and CBS both said only 35% of people in the stands would be Rams fans — in Los Angeles! I’m pretty sure they had a much bigger home field advantage and popular support when they were here in St. Louis, even through more than a decade of zero post-season games.
Whenever there’s a helmet-to-helmet hit — whether or not a penalty is called — Fox’s control room crew always shows the play over and over and over. Considering how many NFL players have problems later in life related to head injuries (e.g. CTE), the network should stop treating such incidents as concussion porn.
With Cincinnati beating the Chiefs and the Rams beating the 49ers, this will be the first time the Bengals lose a Super Bowl to a team not from San Francisco.
There are still two weeks before we see the Super Bowl ads, but they’ll have a tough time beating the Jason Bateman spot for Hyundai and the Jon Hamm one for Apple. Both extremely well written and executed, setting the bar pretty high.